Loon Lake Fire 30% contained

The fire covered about 102 acres as of Wednesday.

An aerial photo of the 102-acre Loon Lake Fire footprint taken at approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Swan Lake is in the background to the right. (Kale Casey/Alaska DNR-Division of Forestry)

An aerial photo of the 102-acre Loon Lake Fire footprint taken at approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Swan Lake is in the background to the right. (Kale Casey/Alaska DNR-Division of Forestry)

The Loon Lake Fire burning about 10 miles northeast of Sterling is now 30% contained, the Alaska Division of Forestry announced Wednesday. No fire growth outside the perimeter was reported Wednesday.

The fire, which was first reported Saturday night after a lightning strike, covered about 102 acres, according to Wednesday’s update. Crews responding to the blaze were close to completing the cut of a fire break around the fire and laying hose around the perimeter to provide a water source for extinguishing hot sports, the Division of Forestry reported.

More than 80 personnel from around the state have responded to the Loon Lake Fire, which is burning near the origin of the 2019 Swan Lake Fire. Firefighting support has included the Palmer-based Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew and the Midnight Sun and Pioneer Peak hotshot crews. The Midnight Sun Hotshots have since returned to their home unit in Fairbanks to assist with other fires.

According to Wednesday’s update, the remaining crews are camping near the fireline and relying on helicopters for hoses, pumps, fuel, chainsaw parts, food and drinking water. The crews spent Wednesday cutting a saw line around the fire, laying hose around the fire and thin pockets of trees where heat lingers.

“The objective for crews and fire managers is to mop up the fire 100 feet inside the perimeter to lessen chances that it may cross control lines,” the update says.

An Alaska Fire Medic is staged at the helibase in Sterling to support the crew.

“The highest priority on this fire is to ensure that every firefighter returns safely to camp at the end of shift, and leaves this assignment healthy and ready for the next wildfire,” the update says.

Both a burn suspension for the Kenai Peninsula and a Temporary Flight Restriction for the airspace 3 miles from the center of the fire were still in effect as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

More information on the Loon Lake Fire can be found on akfireinfo.com.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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